Devolution in Northern Ireland

Councils in Northern Ireland are responsible for considerably less public spending than their counterparts in Wales or Scotland: only 4%, compared to 27%. Stormont controls twice the share of spending that the Scottish and Welsh governments do, despite the absence of a functioning Assembly. This report examines the context and arguments for devolving more powers within Northern Ireland to local government, and makes the case that ‘neighbourhood services’ such as roads, regulation and planning should be the central candidate. It also argues that local government in Northern Ireland should also have a stronger scrutiny role over other areas of spending.

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